African swine fever that ravages hog farms in China, the world’s largest producer and consumer, has unintended consequences on the soybean market, already battered by the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
According to the Chinese calendar, 2019 is the year of the pig. And the coming months may indeed be under the sign of Chinese pork for agricultural commodities markets, and in particular that of soybeans.
The prices of oilseeds were already heavily subject to the vagaries of the trade war in which Washington and Beijing are engaged. Now, a deadly virus ravaging pig farms in China is bringing even more uncertainty.
More than 1 million pigs slaughtered in China
For several months, China is facing an epidemic of African swine fever. This highly contagious disease is deadly for pigs in a matter of days, and no treatment or vaccine has hitherto allowed it to be stopped. The only solution to contain its spread: to cut down herds where cases have been identified. Beijing has already ordered the slaughter of more than 1 million pigs.